Published April 23, 2020 | Version v1
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Probing surface charge densities on optical fibers with a trapped ion

  • 1. Institut für Experimentalphysik, Universität Innsbruck, Technikerstraße 25, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
  • 2. Department of Electrical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), Pohang, 37673, Korea
  • 3. Institut für Experimentalphysik, Universität Innsbruck, Technikerstraße 25, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria and Institut für Quantenoptik und Quanteninformation, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Technikerstraße 21a, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria


We describe a novel method to measure the surface charge densities on optical fibers placed in the vicinity of a trapped ion, where the ion itself acts as the probe. Surface charges distort the trapping potential, and when the fibers are displaced, the ion’s equilibrium position and secular motional frequencies are altered. We measure the latter quantities for different positions of the fibers and compare these measurements to simulations in which unknown charge densities on the fibers are adjustable parameters. Values ranging from −10 to +50 e/µm2 were determined. Our results will benefit the design and simulation of miniaturized experimental systems combining ion traps and integrated optics, for example, in the fields of quantum computation, communication and metrology. Furthermore, our method can be applied to any setup in which a dielectric element can be displaced relative to a trapped charge-sensitive particle.


Austrian Science Fund (FWF): F7109, F4019, and V252. Army Research Laboratory: Cooperative Agreement No. W911NF15-2-0060. European Commission: Grant Agreements No. 656195 and No. 820445.



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Is source of
Journal article: 10.1088/1367-2630/ab8af9 (DOI)
Preprint: (URL)


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